The decision by the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) to prosecute the three Public Works director generals under whose watch Nkandla security upgrades costs skyrocketed might not take place again as the NPA has quietly slipped the case under carpet.
The three director generals who were charged with financial misconduct during the exposition of how tax payers’ money was spent on Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, have escaped prosecution as NPA admitted in a parliamentary reply that the decision to not prosecute them was taken in July 2015.
The said director generals were responsible for appointing some of the contractors that worked at the president’s homestead including Minenhle Makhanya Architects whom Nhleko said there was also no investigations against.
The Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko confirmed this at the parliament on Monday, marking another chapter quietly closed without consequences in the Nkandla debacle.
“The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation wishes to put on record that there is no investigation against Mr M Makhanya,” Nhleko was quoted on Polity.
After the Constitutional court ruled against Zuma in March, the president came out to apologize to the country for all the misdeed related to the refurbishing of his home and also claimed not have “any personal knowledge of the irregularities by the Department of Public Works”
On 20 April, Zuma went on to “reprimand” the three ministers involved in the Nkandla debacle: Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, the former police minister who declared Nkandla a national key point, and former public works minister Geoff Doidge, now ambassador to Sri Lanka.
Zuma’s reprimand of the public workers was done as described by the public protector.
According to Nhleko’s parliamentary reply, one-time acting director-general Solly Malebye (CAS 312/07/2015, Pretoria), who resigned in early 2010, was charged over the engagement of Makhanya, R&G Consulting, Ibhongo Consulting and Igoda Projects (Pty) Ltd.
Former director-general Siviwe Dongwana (CAS 316/07/2015, Pretoria) faced charges over the hiring of Beta Fence and SA Bullet Resistant Glass Company (Pty) Ltd, and former director-general Sam Vukela (CAS 316/07/2015, Pretoria) for recruiting Bonelena Construction Enterprise and Projects and E Magubane CC.
A rough estimate of about R246million was spent on security upgrades in Nkandla but the Constitutional Court ruled that some of the said upgrades, including swimming pool, ampitheatre, kraal and chicken run did not fall under prospects of security features and that President Jacob Zuma should personally pay back a portion of the money spent.
Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ruled in March that President Zuma’s decision to not comply with Public Protector’s remedial actions on Nkandla matter were inconsistent with the Constitution. He said that Public Protector’s remedial actions were binding.
The National treasury would by the end of this month release the concluded amount for President Zuma to refund the government as was ordered by the constitutional court.